Bin Laden’s compound to be demolished as it becomes tourist attraction


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The 3,365 square meter compound in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbottabad, where Osama bin Laden was residing before he was killed by U.S. forces, is likely to be demolished by the Pakistani authorities as it has become the tourists’ most favorite spot.

Well placed sources confirmed to Xinhua on Friday that Pakistani army can not afford the arrival of thousands of people at the world most wanted person’s house, just one kilometer away from the country’s top military training academy and other army installations.

Reportedly Osama had been hiding for last five years before a group of U.S. Navy SEALs, accompanied by four choppers, attacked the compound on late Sunday night and killed Osama.

After the SEALs left the compound, it has been confiscated by Pakistan army to gather any information and to block media to enter the house.

The source, who also quoted some officials, was assured that the controversial building would be possibly demolished within next week.

“The security agencies, as they had been doing in the past, would also repeat the practice to avoid any bitter situation,” he added.

Pakistani agencies had already demolished Jamia Hafsa (a sacred religious school) in Islamabad in July 2007 after the students of the school lost an armed battle against the army and police.

It has not been decided yet when the compound gate will be opened for the media people who are in hundreds of numbers from around the world waiting for the moment to capture the inside video of the house.

An official told Xinhua that Pakistan army soldiers had shifted the helicopter wreckage and other luggage of the house to unknown place and there is nothing left for media except shabby walls and dark rooms of the house whose electricity connection has also been disconnected.

Other than the media exaggerations the three story compound surrounded by around four meter high brick wall with barbed wire upside can never be suspicious as such houses are common in Pakistan’s restive northwestern province Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa.

Entering the compound, constructed in 2002 to 2003, through the central green gate, a courtyard is on the right side and on left hand there is another gate leading to a white three-story building besides a green lawn surrounded with trees and flower plants.

Replying to the question of this scribe “when the building will be open for media visit?”, an army officer on duty “Mudassar” said they had handed over the building charge to the local police and that would tell the time.

But the reality is different. The in-charge of the area police, Nazir Ahmad Khan, said that he knew nothing about the operation, killing or any other matter.

“I am the in-charge of the area but I am not allowed to go inside or get any information,” said Khan, adding that he even could not report the incident without the approval of high ups.

No matter the gates are open or not thousands of people, alone or with families and friends, have been marching towards the green fields outside the Osama’s house. They make their photos and films standing before the building to make it the memorable time.

Children unaware of the big event look busy playing in the fields while elders discuss every possibility of Osama’s presence, media men are working hard in scorching sun shine to create media feeds, police and army soldiers hushing people away from the house walls, is the general picture of the venue.

There is no proper shop of eatables nearby which gave a boom to the business of some vendors whose mineral water bottles, biscuits, juices, ice cream and cigarette packs are being sold like hot cakes. According to a vendor, he is doing his best sale of his whole life.

Osama’s neighbors have also become fed up of media people’s questions and the presence of hundreds other people. “We could not sleep, eat well, there is no rest for us but only tension, our children could not go to school since the incident,” said Yaeqoob Khan, a local politician.

Every visitor look suspicious and do not believe that Osama were living in that shabby building for years and Pakistani security agencies failed to know anything.

An aged women running in emotions said, “We respect American people but not their army and CIA because they have killed millions of innocent people in the world, if Osama is dead please show its proof and stop this drama hype to win the next elections. ”

Regarding demolishing the house, Rashid-ul-Haq Qazi, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court from Abbottabad city, said there is no law in the country to demolish the house without any reason because it is not the property of Osama.

“If they think it is necessary to demolish it, the owner or his family should be paid it market value price but most importantly they will have to prove the presence of Osama first,” said Qazi.